David Lindley, whose talents on string instruments made him a sought-after collaborator for Jackson Browne, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan and more, has died at 78. No cause was given, but Lindley was reportedly suffering from a long-term illness.
Lindley’s skill on guitar, fiddle and other instruments made him a first-call for session work, starting in the 1960s through today.
“The loss of David Lindley is a huge one,” singer Jason Isbell wrote on Twitter. “Without his influence, my music would sound completely different. I was genuinely obsessed with his playing from the first time I heard it. The man was a giant.”
Graham Nash also posted. “One of the most talented musicians there has ever been,” Nash wrote. “David could play pretty much any instrument you put in front of him with incredible versatility and expression.”
Lindley was part of The Section, a group of regular session players who helped shape soft rock in the 1970s.
“I’d listen to a song and see what worked. The song is the center of everything. If the song was about a friend of Jackson’s who died, you play something appropriate for that,” Lindley told Rolling Stone in 2010. “You don’t play a Chuck berry solo in the middle of ‘Song for Adam.’ A Chuck Berry solo is a great thing, but not that for that moment.”
Lindley worked in Jackson Browne’s band for most of the 1980s. The favor was returned by Browne when he produced Lindley’s 1981 album, El Rayo-X, which spawned an FM hit single with a cover of “Mercury Blues.” They played together through 2010 for live shows.
In addition to his wok for others, Lindley had his own bands, including Kleidoscope and El Rayo-X. He played altogether on more than 50 records.
No information on survivors or memorial plans was immediately available.
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